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A lack of economic reports and anticipation ahead of more votes on the U.S. tax bill kept traders in the sidelines during the Asian session.

  • New Zealand’s current account deficit clocks in at 4.68B NZD vs. 0.51B in Q2
  • New Zealand’s trade deficit widens to 1193M NZD in November vs. 723M in October
  • New Zealand’s visitor arrivals up by 2.5% vs. 2.1% growth in October
  • New Zealand’s credit card spending (y/y) up by 9.1% vs. 3.0% uptick in October
  • North Korea now loading Anthrax onto ICBMs?

Major Events/Reports:

New Zealand’s data releases

Data printed earlier saw New Zealand’s current account balance narrowed to 4.68B in Q3 2017, which marks the smallest gap in any Q3 in two year but is still much wider than Q2’s 0.51B figure. This translates to an annual deficit of 7.1B NZD to September and marks 2.6% of GDP.

Apparently, income earned by local businesses dropped in Q3, while income earned by foreign-owned businesses remained relatively steady for the quarter.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s trade deficit widened to 1193M NZD in November against the 723M NZD deficit from a year ago and expectations of a 550M NZD shortfall.

Exports popped up by 19.6% from a year earlier after already advancing by 16.2% in October. Imports also rocketed by 26.7% after already rising by 14.3% in October.

Details reveal that commodities like milk powder, butter, and cheese pushed exports higher while aircraft and parts and mechanical machinery and equipment made up most of the imports.

Tight trading ahead of holidays, further tax bill votes

The Asian bourses (and major currencies, for that matter) traded in relatively tight ranges as a lack of fresh economic catalysts and anticipation ahead of further tax bill-related votes kept traders in the sidelines.

  • Nikkei is up by 0.02% to 22872.8;
  • Australia’s A SX 200 is up by 0.33% to 6,088.6;
  • Hang Seng is down by 0.04% to 29242.9, and
  • Shanghai composite is down by 0.04% to 3,295.226.

Commodity prices caught a few bullish bets, however.

  • Gold is up by 0.21% to $1,264.10;
  • Brent crude oil is up by 0.09% to $63.87, and
  • WTI is up by 0.10% to $57.70.

Major Market Mover(s):

NZD

Kiwi took hits against its major counterparts after both New Zealand’s trade AND current account balances came in weaker than markets had expected.

NZD/USD is down by 29 pips (-0.42%) to .6862;
NZD/JPY is down by 34 pips (-0.43%) to 78.62;
EUR/NZD is up by 76 pips (+0.45%) to 1.7018, and
AUD/NZD is up by 41 pips (+0.37%) to 1.1002.

Watch Out For:

  • 7:00 am GMT: Germany’s PPI (0.2% expected, 0.3% previous)
  • 9:00 am GMT: Euro Zone’s current account (33.4B expected, 37.8B previous)
  • 9:00 am GMT: Euro Zone’s current account (33.4B expected, 37.8B previous)